By his own admission, Michael Laverty's quest to become the MCE British Superbike champion in 2012 has began on an inauspicious note.
The Samsung Honda rider is currently in 13th position following the opening two rounds at Brands Hatch Indy and Thruxton, 36 points adrift of surprise package and fellow Northern Ireland rider Ian Lowry on Clive Padgett's Honda.
Laverty has so far failed to deliver the performances his encouraging pre-season form promised, but ahead of this weekend's triple-header Bank Holiday meeting at Oulton Park, the 30-year-old former British Supersport champion took time out of his busy schedule to reflect on his 'nightmare' beginning to the campaign.
Laverty, though, remains convinced 2012 presents him with the best opportunity of his career to harness the combination of proven machinery and his own talent and experience to capture the prestigious BSB crown.
Laverty admitted: “I've been a bit of a nearly-man the last few years and I've always been there at the end of the season in the Showdown title fight without quite pulling it off.
“It's been a time to forget over the first two rounds but the team are understanding and know all the reasons; it's okay when you know the reasons but at the same time it doesn't help the frustration go away, but we're confident we can turn it around for sure.
“I've probably more desire to win the title now than ever. I've got the experience and the tools I need and the right people around me to allow me to ride to the best of my ability.”
At Brands Hatch last month, Laverty slipped off his Honda CBR1000RR in the wet conditions as he left the Kent circuit empty-handed before finishing sixth and 13th at Thruxton in round two.
“I came away from Brands with nothing – no points, no result and no race under my belt, so at Thruxton I was hoping we could continue on from where we had been in testing,” he told the Belfast News Letter.